View Full Version : MaYA Mammoth in an hour
11-11-2004, 02:57 AM
I am not really sure if this would be fitting to be posted here or not.
But I am sort of in a rush.
And I may have understood the topic completely.
(If so.. please do move it to where it belongs.. or remove it as it is...
Recently we have had this discusion in the speedy modeling forums (http://forums.3dtotal.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=42) about modeling a Mammoth Vacuum-cleaner (http://forums.3dtotal.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24277) that was posted earlier by one of our top modelers.
A modelere known as: Smack Monkey :D
So I took the time to sit down and write down each step I took as I went along the path.
This is how I did this:
The contest says that you have to model the object in an hour; I can not start to explain you how stressful it actualy is. So It is out of the question for me to remember ANYTHING that I had done in the end of such a duration.
So I cut up the period into Shorter rounds of 10 minutes. Typed down what I did again within ten minutes.. and then started on the modeling again.
Unfotrunately I have to go software specific.. so this thread may be more helpful to those using MaYA.
MaYA has MANY specific abilities that would have made the challnenge ALOT less a challenge.. if nothing; for these competitions I create specific buttons to ease me on my selections and all. Or the ready plug in's for selections.
But since those competeing (And possibly reading this) work with a variaty of softwares. I tried to go through methods that can be applicatble to other softwares. But are named under something else)
But in the most of it some things may have more clarity like the double use of some words.
This thread may be a bit too long to the liking of some. So if you would like to just get to the point: this (http://forums.3dtotal.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24277&perpage=30&pagenumber=6) is what I modeled and tutored in a bit less than two hours. Actually including my tuping and posting now.; and the rendering the whole thing took about two and a halve hours. It is a dear bit faster than my usual efforts on texturing and rendering simply because I went very lavish on the UV since it was meant to be 'simple' and I used ready shaders instead of going through my usual trouble of making a custome set of shaders for every model
This part I like most.. the preperation.. since it has the LEAST stress in it. But for this specific model I did almost no preperation... It was only modeled to be modeled (And how logical did that sound? :roll: )
I searched for a model sheet on the net. But couldn't come across one so I just drew a fast version myself.
Please note that when I mean fast sketch: I MEAN fast sketch... I am not being modest here.
So if you would like to use the image for your own modeling feel free to do so. But don't really expect it to be perfect.
If you have an msn or some sort of chat thingy active.. turn it off.
If you even have the SLIGHTEST trace of a pee.. or worse.. GO TO THE TOILET FIRST!
Trust me I found out the HARD way!
Booleans are bad yeah.. but here.. they can sometimes save alot of time. Just plan well
Workinng on one single geometri has always managed to save me time. Unless I really need it I don't create another sphere or box or what ever primitive. Simply because I loose too much time getting it into position.
Well if I get into that there is alot of stuff to watch out for.. but the MOST important thing is like always:LEARN from your MISTAKES! :)
And the Refference Pic:
11-11-2004, 03:04 AM
I tried to get the going sort of with titles so it's a bit easier to follow. Hope it helps some of you with some problems you came across in projects simallar:
Note:The general rule in modeling sort of goes here too. It is usually better if you start simple and then get it complexer. You then would have alot less vertices to deal with.
1_Created a PolySphere (12x12), rotated it around 90 degree's along the X axis; and applied a deformation lattice with 4x4x4 vertices (The feature is found under the animations menu) And started to try and position the object suitingly to the side view.
2_ Since the object is symetric: I turned on components mode and selected and removed halve of the faces. (First snapping the whole selection to the center to ensure that I have a center line going) I didn't mirror an instance to not have any processing time loss_Just in case.
3_ I selected two sets of faces for each leg and scaled them a bit bigger and rotated them to be a bit more parallel to the ground. And extruded them (with the first being snaped to flatten parellel to the axis) divisions to create the legs and knees.
4_ I selected the two edges connecting the behind to the hind legs and collapsed them to gain a rounder passage. Believing that this gained me some time I went in and spared a minute to reorganise some of the vertices on where the leg connects. And also joined one of the triangles with the triangles at the polar to retain the quads.
5_ I split the polygons from the rear pole (It's tale) until the front pole (It's neck) along the extruded surfaces (The Legs). Again retaining quads on where the triangulation had occured on the poles.
6_ Again a minute was spared to set vertices better into place.(It is always a good idea to set time limits to modelings even within the process)
7_ Because it was aparent that I was not going to be able to work out the foot and nails: I added one more division to the feet. This time with polycut.. all through the model(Holding downshift to mantain a parellel line)
I selected the faces on the rear pole of the object. And extracted them to some distance. rotated it a bit down on with the manipulator. And extracted them again. Rotated it a bit up this time.
1_ I selected the faces on the poles at the front of the object. and extruded it three times.
2_ Selected all the faces of this extrusion and hit extrusion again. Now here is a useful trick: With the manipulater still selected I hit average vertices. And it rounded up the shape and I pulled out the extrusion with the Z axis of the manipulator to get a very evenly rounded object to create the head from.
3_ Of the three divisions that were extruded in the first time. I selected two from the bottom of the middle row.and extruded it. (Note: You are going to have to scale and/or rotate the extrusions to best fit your shape. It is not easy to recall all of the adjustments.)
4_ After extruding and adjusting this extention meant to be the lower lip two times. I extruded it once more for the little bulge on the tip.increased my selection("<" to decrease and ">" to increase the selection)and did the same trick with extruding and then averaging vertices and pulling out the extrusion with the manipulator. But this time had to convert to SelectVertices and play around with it quickly to keep the area in shape. As it was going to get too busy there with ading in the hose.
5_ I selected the faces inside the mouth that were connected and extruded that downwards to give the hollowness.
6_ Fortunately with the Extrude/Average trick I had a really fantastic head before me. It was almost exactly in the shape that I would want it to be in. I pulled out a few vertices here and there to ensure that the cheeks are better pronounced and the connection from the head comes down alot straighter.
7_ I pulled the polar tip of the object down to level with the top of the cheek puffs. Selected the faces that were below this, scaled them down at all angles, scaled them flat along the Z axis, pulled it around and rotated it to better position, and extruded it out to get a start on the nose..
Damn 10 mins full!!!
11-11-2004, 03:11 AM
The screen shot in the previouse link is literally were and when I stopped the modeling round. (I forgot to mention that earlier.. sorry :shy: )
Going on from where I left off:
8_ I left the nose as it was for now and changing my selection to edges I deleted the edge running across it's forehead to make it also a quad. While lines were still the selection I worked a bit on the general shape of the face.
1_ If your model went sort of like mine in general shape. You should manage to have three faces adjacent to each other on the tip of the nose that would resemble the delta shape of the snout I had drawn on the ref pics. Thats the piece I reselected to extrude for the nose.
2_ One thing I forgot to mention that I do often is that as I extrude from the centers of the sphere the extrusion generates a face on the inside where I had deleted the other halve. I select these faces every now and then. Snap them to the centerline and delete them. This save time on alighnment.
3_ Of the three faces I extruded to obtain the snout I select only the center one after extruding the nose three times until the third bump. I know MaYA has this cool feature that allows you to extrude along a curve, and that it works faster. But I preffered to go for step by step extrusion so that I could get the faces start and end at exactly where I had drawn a bump.
4_ I extruded the selected face to pronounce the nostril and shrunk it via the manipulator. And then reenlarged it with the scale tool. As you will probably witness this gives out BAD topology. I selected the original outeredges of the nostril and deleted them. I split the polygons starting from the triangle (With the triangle included) of the cheek to the tip of the new nostril. And split around it to have all quads again. Selected the edge running through the triangle and collapsed it. Averaged vertices here and there and then reselected the central face and extruded it in to make the hole. I had wanted to do this BEFORE I had curved the nose down all the way.
5_ To my later regret.. it was a BIG mistake to do the nostril before I finished the hose. Now I wasn't able to extrude and use the manipulator any longer. It would deform the holes structor. I had to go on extruding and then placing things here and there via the move and translate instead. It lost me an extra minute at the least. After making it around the curve of the trunk and down to the end; I selected the sides of the trunk and extruded them to widen the nostril area a bit and well, to place some extra components to be able to round up the tip as it is in the refference sketch.
6_ I just played around with the vertices at this point to get the trunk to the shape I would want it to be in. So I wouldn't have to come back to sculpting it once I start extruding the bulges. I selecetd the generated faces and snapped them to the origin and deleted them like always.
7_ I selected each of the segments that I had wanted a lump ontop of. and extruded them two by two. For the underside I only started to select faces from the bend down.
8_ I left a line of faces along the side that I didn't extrude. Hoping that it would give a better ressemblence. just under the snout I still didn't select and extrude all along. and instead selected from the front halve and the rear halve.leaving a 'fold' in between.
9_ I selectedthe edges connecting the lower extrusion to the trunk and collapsed them. Then selected the edges of the trunk from around the fold down. Deselected those that were connected to the centerline and the nose. Then hit average vertices. This sort of narrowed smoothly towards the tip.
10_ Selected the centerline faces. snaped them to the centerline and deleted them again. started selecting connection edges of the buldges and averageing vertices again accordingly.
And time was up! This time it REALLY hurt to see the 10 minutes end! I had aparently wasted SO much time!
As good as it is I am leaving the trunk as far as it got until now.
Little note: while selecting the edges for extruding for the buldges aparently I had also selected faces from the nostril and extruded them aswel. Since I made the mistake to begin with and this being a Speed-Modeling competiton I don't want to waste any time with undo's. In your case you may want to just watch out for that while making your selections.
11-11-2004, 03:16 AM
1_ I selecetd the face above the cheekbones buldge from just where the head inflates. (More out of guessing actually. I was in doubt if I should of gone for the center even in the middle of the modeling!)
2_ I extruded this edge, shrank it. And while still on the manipulator I pulled it towards the top right (towards the trunk) corner. And shrank it again along the Y axis.(Which would be the Z axis in WorldSpace)
3_ This part on is a bit complicated to describe without images: I extrudedthis face two times. playing with its scaling, rotation and transformation; with both the manipulator and the other tools.
4_ Try to picture the extrusion as a box. I selected the edges of this extruded bow that are at the bottom and are facing out ward from the head. then averaged them (two times I think) and pulled them all the way up. to create the lower contour fro the fleshy part of the ear.
I was VERY lucky in the way the shape went out actually.. all the way through. even in the ear. So I didn't have to do TOO many pulls and tugs to get the shape sculpted right. But in the ear I noticed again too late that I should have extruded two faces instead of one. And I should have added two more divisions in the extrusion.
5_ I split the polygones from the middle on in the fleshier part of the ear, starting from the tip where it thins all the way to the head. I also did something from the top of the head to ear... and connected this some how to the earlob, and the front of the head where I would want the eyes to be. In this process I removed some edges and collapsed others. Also changing my component selection to F9 I went on and moved vertices here and there to better fit the refference image.(I honestly don't remamber every part of this bit)
Oh wait an important part is that I collapsed the edge at the tip to have it pointed 5not the Fleshy bit...the thinned area)
6_ I selected and extruded the first to faces of the fleshy bit. extruded it and collapsed it from where they connected. I remember the bottom one was a triangle. I had collapsed that ones edge to the longer one. And while adjusting this area I started to split the ear in a variaty of places. Some what randomly (Panicked a bit). And pulled them up and down, in and out; until I got a shape some what like the ragged state the ears were.
I was trying to show care that I moved what ever was in the front side equally to whatever was int the rear side of the ear. But I couldn't pay TOO much attention to it from haste. And because it was too tight a spot to work in. I hda thought of it as time loss. But in your case you may want to choose 'showselected and isolate the ear in the perspective window.
I shaped the head a bit more... and extruded the faces on the top of the neck to give the little buldge of skin there. And also split the face above it and rought it in and out to have a smaller buldge. I tried to position a vertice to where I was planning on placing the eyes. I selected the edges where the faces extruded on the trunk (The top ones for now) and collapsed them. I tried to do some fix up before I got onto the lower buldges...
Time ran out
11-11-2004, 03:23 AM
Through the whole model I did my best to leave it at only one mesh. The one thing I experienced through the speed modeling challenges is that you loose alot of time generating a mesh and then trying to position it into place.
If you can avoid it. If you have to try to st markers to snap it's center to. So you don't waste too much time. I had done something lke that for the eyes.. but couldn't for the Tusk as I didn't really know where to put it.
1_ I created a Cylinder in it's default settings and reduced the divisions dowm to 12 instead (A number I almost always preffer the multiples of since it is divisible by a variaty of primary numebers I have use for) Rotated it around 90 degrees on the x-axis and positiond it around where the refference image had offered.
2_ I created a curve with its starting point snapped to the center of the cylinder. Extruded the top faces of the cylinder along this axis. Increased it's divisions to 6 so I could get the curvature. tappered it some bit.. I think 0.3 or something was the value. Then went in and individually pulled the components to better fit the shape.
3_ I selected the whol tusk and scaled it to be a bit narrower. then rotated it and translated it to better position.
4_ I selected the face that I wanted the tusk to some what come out from and and scaled and positioned it to give out a better result. Then extruded it and shrank it to fit around the tusk using the manipulator. With the face still selected I subdivided them and averaged vertices to match more fitingly. I selected the faces, extruded them and shrank them some more. Increased my selection one time and set to selection boundry. With the scale toom I enlarged this a bit tomore what center the tusk in its borders. then I extruded this to creat a 'lip' for the tusk to come out of.
5_ I did some amount of averages and scales to have this part fit in nicely. Working with low poly meshes that are meant to be mesh smoothed is like working with NURBS surfaces and paying attention only to the Hull's. You have to give broad allowence to how you are fitting it to your refference image. So I gave my share of loose fit in many places. Including this one here. To have a less risk of this 'Lip' bit not really working the way I want it to. I selected the four faces in the inside and snaped it to the inside tip of the tusk. Since I don't have my "Keep Spacing" active they all snapped into a point. I just hit merge vertices then to get it over with.
I had to do some quick clean up here beacuse of the subdivided faces. It allowed me to be able to have a continious edge making it all the way to the root of the trunk. So I just fixed up some mess I had there. And also selected the edges that were from the collapsing for the bumps. and removed them to make it as four sideded as possible all through out.
1_ This part was REALLY fun. I created a PolySphere and snapped it to the previously prepared vertice for it. And set its divisions to 12 (Mental note to self:change the default to 12!) I don't remember if I changed the divisions along hight. Because I had to delete it's history I can't chek on that (REason given later) And I tried to scale it to size.. I think infact it was in about the right size with it's default value don't remember.
2_ The sphere still selected I asighned a latice deformer. set it's divisions to 3x5x3. And shaped the eye-bulb into the droplet like shape. Since it was too in my way I selected the sphere and deleted it's history which removed the Lattice.
3_ I selected the lower faces, extruded them inwards, increased my selection twice and then hit selection boundry. I extruded these once and then hit average vertices before I pulled it out. Then increased the selection until I had the thin little extursion for making the eyes in my selection. Then I set to selection boundry. and deselected (Ctrl select) the upper bondry. And then extruded this under the eye lid.
4_ I selected the Eye and then tred to position it a bit better. Selected the faces behind it and subdivided them. I wasn't exactly sure of what I was doing. I just knew I had needed some more vertices there. It became too messy as I was trying to get something decent so I just selected the vertices and snaped them to the eye's sphere. I didn't have a good series of vertices at the bottom so I just splitthe faces at the bottom bit and allighned and snaped them aswel.
I had to do some clean up again to be able to move on. It was mostly hitting avergage vertices and splitting faces to have a better flow. Mostly getting it messier actually but none the less resuming ths shape intended from start.
Oh while cleaning up. I noticed I didn't like the way the fleshy part of the ear stuck out. I had selected the inner set of faces and extruded that a bit and averaged it a few times. For the flap of the ear I just selected all the faces looking outwards and extruded once. pulled it out VERY little with the manipulator. and extruded it again. But hit average this time. My whole intention was to have enough vertices there to ensure that when I smoothed the mesh I would have the ears rag their weight all the way down. Unfortunately the average really pulled the vertices of the selected faces really to the center. I actually liked it like this and just moved on to the toes.
1_ Another instantly rewarding and easy to do part. I just selected the front two faces of the feet. And extruded it. Leaving the manipulator tool and choosing the translate tool I moved this extrusion a tiny bit further.
2_ The faces still selected I went to the polygon options and turned off keep new faces together and extruded them yet again increased the selection and turned my keep faces together on again and extruded this again. It got me a little pair of boxes hanging out of the little guys feet.
3_ I subdivided these boxes and from the side view selected their top faces(one by one for each leg) and then scaled it down a bit. selected the outer_top edges in the front of each nail and averaged them.. Also averaged the edges connecting the nail to the foot (from the first extrusion)
4_ The nails were some what done as they were. I pulled out the side of the foot a bit more to ensure wider roundness (The Hull thing again) then selected the edges at the bottom of the foot and snapped them to the floor.
Time was up
This time even though I was VERY pleased with the performance; I fell far behind the schedual that I was hoping to stick to. :(
11-11-2004, 03:44 AM
I got very motivated for the last time and really jumped into this session like crazy. I am not exactly sure anymore.. but I did some dear bit of preperations before I hit smooth proxy. I had added some set of splits and extrusions then collapses on the legs and knees. And some extra-extra extrusions to allow extreme flabs on where the body weight sits on the legs. I intend on the final model having two divisions, so I have to always keep that in mind (But out of logic to gain haste I am going to smooth it only once til it is completed)
I took a last look around if there was anything other than the 'Sculpting'; then I hit Smooth proxy To see how the smoothing was going. I intend on having its strength at 2 times but I left it at one for now
The Rope and Sticks 'SQUEEZE'
Even the second of extra calculation in the computer sets you back some dear time so as I said I tried to leave nothing to be done after having Smooth proxy turned on.
You see THIS is one of those things you don't really want to leave to speculations.
Since the stick is going to have to be symetric (sorry no time to make a unique left and right) I tried to get the 'squeeze before I mirrored the geometry.
I lost a serious amount of time in this because I noticed a flaw in my planing. I had set the sphere to face upwards. But the rope in my refference is not really facing up. It has more a slant towards the front. I had to shift the geometry to match this. And then just cut this in the middle and pulled it inwards.
The fastest way I know of how to mirror an object is to not have to go in and edit the unmerged edges.
This you prevent by keeping the points in the open edge planner. here is one of so many methods
1_ Selet the object
2_ Click on Fill hole
3_ Select the face that has just been created, snap it to the grid or a point and then delete it.
After the mirroring I hit my custome dislplay setting which displays border edges. This was to make sure if there were any unmerged vertices (Unfortunately there was three or something)
This was a bit tricky. According to the Flinstones refferences. They had a rope actually go through the sick. Ok that was fine, and infact better. But the curves of a twisted rope were a sort of problem in such a short time. So I went for a rope more done out of twisted palm leaves or something.
I didn't really have the time to make a knot like Smack Monkey's model. So I just had the curve start and end at one end (Didn't bother to close it) hoping to be able to model a knot for it later on. (Which I notice now that I forgot to do!)
For the style of the rope. I just took a circle and from top view (YES with 12 vertices!) I pulled one of the vertices inwards. and rotated the side two onwards (Object center as component pivot).
The curve to path the extrusion was fairly easy actually. I just snaped to the points of my low poly mesh.
Then I rotated the profile curve something like 4000 times or something along the path.
This one had the same logic as the rope:
I took a circle.. rotated it in X then pulled alot of random CV's after I really increased the CV count. And then extruded it along the curve.
Unfortunately you can't really get as good a fit with this extrusion as you would with the rope.. so I had to sort of move the stick around until I got it to fit into the predefined flabs.
The handle of the stick was simple to do. I snapped a curve onto the end(Starting) point of the previous curve I set my component selection to faces and selected the rear of one of the sticks. and extruded it along the curve then increased it's divisions.
In general I added rotation values to the stick. In order to have a variaty in a fast way: I set a twist value to my right path extrusion. Selected the geometry. Duplicated it with -1 for the x scale. And then played around with it's twist value some more.
Time was up.
I shall probably be doig the knot and the 'skateboard' underneath him and then let it go. regardless to the time. I am seriously tired of working like this.
Oh yeah. I couldn't do a neat job on the junction part of the stick. I may place a sort of tape around it.
Note: After this session I edited the layers colour and increased the divisions so the screen shots would be of more use. It wasn't really done in the time period. But it wasn't modeling either. Don't know how it qualifies
11-11-2004, 04:01 AM
I had forgotten what I had typed after this last session.... Tell you what I recall vividly the last steps. I'll plug in some time and fill you guys with the details of the finishing touches.
Actualy my whole intention was to do a sort of dynamics with having the hair extrusions at parts fall to gravity. Thus giving a more natural shabby look. But well wasn't possible. I had to have the model completeled at at least the first three quarters. Since I couldn't I had decided to just go on with it. No way was I going to model this thing again from scratch!:grr:
Well in this level I really rushed things up..
I was at first done with it all in around three minutes or so. (I'll pop in later on and type in what happened in this episode. I am really a bit tired of this :xx: )
The head of the rope was COMPLETELY coincidentual :lurve:.
I just snapped a sphere to it and then pulled things out.
(...extruded random faces and averaged them and so on...)
I was a bit relieved that it was over so I sat to watch the time fill up.. till I noticed that I hadn't don't the cap on his head! :eek: :eek: !
I quickly selected the top faces;
... duplicated them ... and then extruded and grew the selection and extruded again.
Then finally I smoothed it out after averaging it once.
That bit was a LAST minute call. And when you are in such a state: to sit and write it all just isn't easy to do.
Thank you for the time!
I'll try to put that last bit in later on
C&C is welcome!
11-11-2004, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the breakdown Black. Although we use different programs we use a very similar technique. I'm sure there are a few things you may have done differently if you weren't thinking about how to make it in a kind of "program-genaric" way. I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the amount of detail you can handle in such a short time. My model didn't have the details nor the number of initial polys that yours has, very nice.
I didn't prepare as well either. The sketch of the character is a good idea. I worked entirely from that tiny image that I linked to on the speed modeling thread. That extra step may have eased the amount of time I spent modeling allowing for more details. In all the comps I have used some reference (except character modeling - go figure) but never good reference that shows three solid orthographic angles. I'll try that one of these times and see how it goes. I'm sure that just the action of drawing the object makes you more familiar with it's properties and that familiarity alone would make the model easier to build let alone having decent (or even sketchy) reference.
Rally nice work.
11-11-2004, 01:14 PM
Can't put it better...
the presketch sort of allows you to really familiarise with the object.
While giving illustration classes I had constantly insisted that the students TRY to do things.
Because in the process of the struggle of realising a result; the amount of questions you ask yourself and the model are VERY useful. And a Sketch before you model can help you better understand the words you have to put together to make the next sentence.
I am a bit more fortunate on the drawing side.
And usually get more moralised for a result if I simply sketch it.
For those that keep asking if it would be better if they went through the trouble of learning to draw first... I would say it MAKES a diffrence.
This is a Jpeg version of the IFF file I used for the side refference. (I know I could have them proportion by only having height or width fit and gain space. But I like making them as square ref's)
11-11-2004, 01:29 PM
Actually when you come to think of it: I know for a fact (Speed painting challenges (http://forums.3dtotal.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=46)) that you are pretty capable of drawing aswell Smack Monkey.
You should make use of it as often as you can. It is also useful to pull yourself away from the computer once a while.
Please let me in on the new stuff you come up with.
This is the front view of the same image plane I had based the model on.
It is basicaly the drawing way above altered a bit to better fit the side view. since I had really drawn them independent.
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